East Sussex Federation

Pett WI

Where we meet

Village Hall, Pett, TN35 4HD

When to come along

3rd Wednesday of every month at 7.00pm

What we do

New members and visitors are always welcome.
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With a flourishing and growing diverse age ranging membership Pett WI continues 2018 with a varied collection of speakers mixed with information, hands-on opportunities and fun events, outings and fundraising initiatives connected to our WISPA campaign (WI Sanitary Protection Appeal).

This June we held another very successful Big Village Lunch with guests being entertained by local group Lipstick & Beatniks, and participating in the ever-growing “Feast of Puddings”! This summer members are invited to attend the newly formed Pett WI Movie Club starting with a visit to the Rye Kino in August to see Mamma Mia 2 – Here we go again. There are trips to local and beyond theatres etc. Also in August members will get together to enjoy their annual summer party which this year has a “Fiesta Tapas” theme. Members are being encouraged to try their hand at some simple Spanish tapas recipes however if all else fails we have produced a “buy in” list from the supermarket too! We also hope to be “popping up” at information events around the area this year to publicise membership and create awareness of our fundraising work. We also hope to use these “pop ups” as an opportunity to meet local people who have a talent to share or a local business that might be of interest to our members as we plan our new 2019 programme.

Finally, we are gearing up to our poppy-yarnbombing project to decorate the war memorial, wall and exterior railings in front of Pett Church in time to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1 on Sunday November 11th. The project started as just a Pett WI initiative with members knitting, crocheting, crafting poppies but it has now grown into a full community project with friends and neighbours taking part too including members of the POPPS (Pett Old Peoples Project). We have just over 5,000 poppies at the moment but our aim is to reach over 7,000 which will represent the number of soldiers killed in WW1 who came from [East] Sussex alone. We are raising money as we do this for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Help for Heroes.


Well this was the year that we had preparing for. Pett WI was 100 years old this year! The first formal meeting of what was then Fairlight, Guestling and Pett WI was held in January 1917. Unfortunately, due to our records up to 1929 being destroyed by a bomb in the World War Two, we were unable to prove this and as the Sussex Federation was not formed until September 1917, ESFWI had no record of our existence until then.

100 Experiences
All through the year our members have been trying things that they have never done before – from paragliding, sleeping rough, riding a camel, visiting the highest building in the world the Burj Khalifa Dubai – despite a fear of heights and go-karting through singing karaoke, clipping a dog and going to a West End theatre to and paddling in the sea, as well as many more. Each new experience raised £1 for our nominated “Cause of the Year” Pett WISPA (Women’s Institute Sanitary Protection Action) and we raised £100 – all monies are to support homeless and hard up women in local shelters and through charities.
Presenting Twiddle Muffs made by members to dementia ward at Conquest Hospital, Hastings
Mike Hatchard Concert
This was held at The Stables Theatre on 8 October, again to celebrate our centenary. Members went free and guests paid just £10. The money raised from ticket sales covered the cost of both the artist and the venue, with money being raised for Pett WISPA from a raffle and donations.

Members at the Pett WI tent at our local Pett Flower Show – it was very wet!!

During the course of the year we learnt about the Crown Court and The Hampstead Murders as well as how to tie those lovely bows that florists use. Roger Nuttall from Hastings Homeless Service, made a welcome return and Gary Enstone inspired many of us to visit Batemans, long time home of Rudyard Kipling. Andy Dinsdale gave a great talk about what can be found on our beaches and Janetta Harvey told us the true price of a puppy.
Again we had a BBQ for our August meeting and the weather was kind once more. Phil Button, ably assisted by Eve, cooked some delicious food and everyone had a great time.

Theatre Trips:
Exciting trip to see The Girls – West End London. On stage with some of the cast.
Our theatre trips continued with trips to The Stables but a welcome addition this year was a trip to the West End. A group of members went to see The Girls, a musical based on Calendar Girls. It was a great day with members having their photo taken on stage with some of the cast and actually singing Jerusalem on stage too!

Big Village Lunch: This was always going to be special in our centenary year! On Sunday June 4 once again more than 80 people poured into Pett Village Hall to enjoy lunch with their friends and neighbours. It was our sixth successive lunch and of course we had bubbles to celebrate. We even planted a crab apple tree to commemorate our centenary!
The Big Village Lunch.
Planting a crab apple tree outside Pett Village Hall to commemorate our centenary year at our Big Village Lunch
Entertainment came from Lipstick and Beatniks. Again the weather was delightful, enabling many to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and more than £400 was raised for local causes, including Pett Village Hall, POPP, St Nicholas, Pett Level Preservation Trust and Pett WISPA.

Pett WISPA: In our centenary year, WISPA was nominated to be our “Cause of the Year” and funds were raised throughout the year through our 100 New Experiences, as well as raffles and donations, so that we could to continue to supply local shelters and charities.

One of the objectives for 2017 was to organise a local fundraising initiative, and this took place on Saturday 21 October at Pett Village Hall. Mandy Hogarth ran two Tomboogie sessions, which were open to both members and non-members, and indeed attracted a lot of interest from Pett residents as well as people from further afield.

Trip to Batemans: Following Gary Enstone’s great talk in July, a trip was arranged to Batemans in October. A number of members went and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the home of the author, whom Gary had brought so vividly to life.

All in all it has been a centenary year to enjoy. With a new varied and interesting programme planned for next year, new members coming on to the Committee and more projects and challenges, Pett WI can only go from strength to strength.Lovely cake made by Committee member Lindsey Johnson marking the end of our centenary year.